Americans Rate Energy Independence Second Only to Jobs in Foreign Policy Priorities

On the campaign trail and during the 2012 debates, both presidential candidates have called for increased U.S. energy production to create less reliance on foreign oil.  One of the key differences discussed is the role the government should play in subsidizing energy production. The 2012 Chicago Council Survey finds, a majority of Americans across the political spectrum favor tax incentives for businesses to encourage the use of alternative energy supplies, increasing the number of nuclear power plants, and increasing requirements for fuel-efficient vehicles, even if it means higher car prices. But the public draws the line at personally paying more in taxes on fuel to encourage energy independence.

The survey brief includes detailed findings on the following points:
  • A majority of Americans (77%) say that reducing U.S. dependence on foreign oil is a very important foreign policy goal of the United States.
  • Majorities of Americans support tax incentives for alternative energy sources (78%), increasing fuel efficiency for cars (65%), and new nuclear power plants (65%).
  • A narrow majority (53%) support deploying U.S. troops to ensure the energy supply.

Americans' Views on Energy Policy (PDF)

2012 Chicago Council Survey Report Cover

Survey Home

Full Report (PDF)

Topline Questionnaire (PDF)

Data (zip)

Press Release

Press Coverage

Release Event 

Release Event Presentation - Bouton (PDF)


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